Friday, October 21, 2011

A New Direction for Detroit

On November 8 of this year, Detroiters will go to the polls to decide whether or not we should approve a new Charter for the City of Detroit. This is the primary governing document for our community.

If you haven't already seen the proposed charter, I encourage you to take some time in the coming days to review it. A copy of it is available by clicking here. Including all of the commentary and historical background, this is a 28 page document. It will take a little time for each voter to go through and decide how they feel about it. Regardless, I encourage everyone to take the time to review it.

The Charter Revision Commission has made more than 300 proposed changes to how the City of Detroit will operate. For example, if the new Charter is adopted, then:
  • There would be new rules designed to minimize the changes of another Synargo scandal from happening;
  • Enable the City to cancel a contract, and bar the vendor from receiving any new ones, if it can be shown that the vendor engaged in an act of corruption or bribery to get a contract with the City. This is something that was sorely missing during the Synargo scandal;
  • Enable Detroiters to elect the Board of Police Commissioners instead of them being appointed by the Mayor; and
  • Make the appointment of our police chief, fire commissioner, director of planning and development, director of human resources, and corporation counsel subject to confirmation by the City Council. This is something that happens in most cities in the United States, but is sorely missing in Detroit.
This will be an important vote for Detroit. I hope everyone takes the time to study the issues and votes on Tuesday, November 8.
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